ARDENT fans are battling on the World Wide Web over who should be awarded the title of Hong Kong's best TV news reporter. Almost 48,000 have voted so far in a poll that has put CNN's Karuna Shinsho firmly in the lead with 21,320 votes. Originally from NHK Television in Japan, she now anchors many of the news station's Hong Kong-based broadcasts. Trailing her with 13,268 votes is TVB's John Liu Chung-ping. He hit the headlines last year when a mainland official was captured on camera threatening him during Premier Zhu Rongji's trip to France. Numerous other local reporters are also listed on the site, which is at http://www . freevote.com/booth/ newsreporters. Among them is Louisa Wong Tak-yu, also from TVB. She languishes in ninth place with a mere 182 votes. But that has not stopped her from developing something of a cult following. Ms Wong's marriage earlier this year was headline news in the entertainment sections of popular Chinese-language papers. One devoted fan has even gone so far as to set up a Web site devoted solely to her. 'She has this certain je ne sais quoi,' said Toronto-based Chris Au, whose site is at http://come.to/misswong . It has dozens of pictures of her, taken from TVB's satellite broadcasts. 'I'm not obsessed with her or anything,' he insisted. 'There might be a little infatuation, but that's all.' The Consumer Council was back in the news again last week with its warnings about inflammable mattresses. But the watchdog body is still without a chairman. Anna Wu Hung-yuk stepped down from the post to take charge of the Equal Opportunities Commission at the start of this month. And the Government has yet to name her successor. Informed sources say Beijing adviser Maria Tam Wai-chu is being considered for the post. She has done Tung Chee-hwa several favours over the past few months. As spokesman for local National People's Congress deputies, she spoke out strongly in support of the controversial reinterpretation of the Basic Law. Her high standing with the Government was shown when she was one of the few to survive a sweeping purge of other members of the Airport Authority board. None of this proves her consumer credentials. But it remains to be seen if this matters. Or whether Mr Tung will once again choose to put political considerations above all others. Over on the mainland, a survey by a Chengdu newspaper has found that a high proportion of the hostesses working in the city's growing number of night clubs are surprisingly well-educated. Students in the capital of Sichuan province said they were attracted by the generous tips the work offered. A survey of 15 so-called 'entertainment venues' found that 12 of the 30 hostesses interviewed were university or college students. They said high income and 'personal interest' had lured them into this burgeoning business. Most boasted that their higher educational standards helped them earn more. Apparently male customers, especially those in their 30s, like to have better educated female companions. The survey said that while other hostesses earned only 100 yuan to 200 yuan in tips a night, those with university degrees could get at least 400 yuan.